The moderator of last night’s debate made an interesting comment during the question and answer portion of the debate in the midst of asking questioners to limit themselves to one question apiece. He said (as best I can make out, the audio wasn’t the greatest at this point):
If you don’t mind we’re trying to move through a number of questions if you can limit yourselves to one question I’d be greatly appreciative, If you’re like me and have life outside of the Trinity, uhh, we’re trying to get us out of here by 9:30 if we can.
Now obviously he meant something along the lines of “I’m sure we all have other things to do than debate theology,” but even if taken in a woodenly literal manner I think that the statement voices the way that many people think and feel about the Trinity. When the Trinity is relegated to a mere doctrine then it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that the Trinity is God and God is the Trinity. Personally, I can’t conceive of eternal life without being reminded that this gift was given to me by the Triune God (the Father sent his Son to die and rise to life so that he could send his Spirit to dwell in me). Gregory of Nazianzus so clearly sums up my thinking on God that I couldn’t say it any better if I tried. He said:
No sooner do I conceive of the one than I am illumined by the splendour of the three; no sooner do I distinguish them than I am carried back to the one. (Orations 40.41).
Trinitarian theology is more than an academic exercise that only trained theologians are to engage in; it’s more than an abstract idea that’s supposed to take a back seat to more important matters of praxis; Trinitarian theology is no less than the Christian way of speaking about God, plain and simple. I’d again like to commend everyone’s attention to Robert Letham’s excellent article entitled “Developing a Trinitarian Mind.”